Thought Leadership

6 Things for PR Pros to Remember When Pitching Journalists

Twitter might be struggling, but at least one group still finds great value in it: journalists.

Media conversation-tracking website Muck Rack recently released the results of its 2017 survey, which found that 96 percent of journalists use Twitter on a weekly basis, and 70 percent said it’s their most valuable social media tool. The next most valuable social network for journalists is Facebook, with 22 percent saying they use it the most.

Journalists were also asked about their relationship with PR pros. Here’s a few tips you can take from the results:

  1. Pitch in the morning. Muck Rack found that 37 percent of journalists prefer to be pitched between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., with 27 percent preferring their pitches to come between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.
  2. Mention journalists in your tweets and social posts. A majority of journalists (72 percent) say they track how often their stories are shared online, so make it easy for them to see you’re sharing their work.
  3. Personalize your pitches. Lack of personalization is the No. 1 reason why journalists reject otherwise relevant pitches. Using tools and tactics to maximize your pitch reach can hurt your efforts, too: 52 percent of journalists said they do not like receiving pitches via mass distribution lists.
  4. Keep your pitches tight. The survey revealed that 17 percent of journalists said they reject pitches because they’re too long. Short and sweet is the way to reporters’ hearts.
  5. Don’t pitch over the phone. Only 11 percent of journalists say they like receiving pitches via phone, and 72 percent say they absolutely do not want to be pitched over the phone. Think twice before you dial.
  6. Save the emojis. Nearly 80 percent of journalists say they do not want pitches with emojis in them. Flex your skills in tweets and Instagram posts instead.

For more insight into the state of journalism, check out the full Muck Rack study here.

Kevin Allen is a Chicago-based writer and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is the former city editor of the Sarasota Observer and a former staff writer for SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, Fla. Kevin is also a trained improvisational actor and instructor. He freelances for various publications and businesses in Florida and Chicago. 

A version of this post first appeared on Ragan.com.

[RELATED: Test your skills during the media pitch tank at the PR Now & Next Conference on July 20-21 in Chicago.]

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